Monday, July 1, 2013

This Is Tech Support?

My computer kamikazied to smithereenies and it took me with it!

Over the weekend, my new computer did indeed kamikazied itself to smithereenies and I spent a chaotic two hours getting it fixed.

Short version on how it broke: I turned it on, it did its spiel while uploading updates, it rebooted, it froze, I did a cold reboot, it crashed.

So the first thing I did after not being able to fix it, was to take it where I had originally bought it from: Staples.

Talked to the tech guy and happened to mention that it was under warranty. He said that I had to call a 1-800 number because if he had to work on it, he would charge me. So he gave me the brochure in question and I went home to call Staples tech support.

After talking with them for a few minutes, I was told that I had to call the manufacturer because my computer had a one year warranty and theirs didn't kick in until that one expired (this is call #1). I was given the 1-800 and transferred to them.

Went through the voice menu and after I'd stated what kind of computer it was (HP Elitebook), got transferred to the business tech support line (this was call #2).

At call #3, I talked to the tech support guy, and we had a pleasant one hour conversation fixing my computer.

Among the wonderful things that I found out from him, beside him being located in Albuquerque (heat wave) was that the warranty expired on my computer about three months prior to me buying it in May. He gave me a number to call on Monday (call #4) to get the warranty info straightened out. He also gave me the tech support number for my computer (potentially call #5 and beyond) should the need arise in the future.

My computer? Well, this major league Luddite did an outstanding job of following step-by-step instructions, which was directly due to me giving him serious information overload on the various headaches that were popping up on the screen, and about one hour after I had called him, my computer was fixed. Don't ask me to repeat what it was I did, but it had to do with using the Windows 7 disc to fix said computer crash.

Suffice to say, I have a new company (Hewlett-Packard) to like and buy products from. I already have a printer from them that is about 8 years old and it shows no signs of slowing down.

I will note that while normally I have a low tolerance of being transferred to multiple places that usually ends up doing diddly/squat for me. However, since this was a brand new computer that I took a helluva lot of time  specifically searching for (I really detest Windows 8 in all of its dysfunctional glory) a OS that my job is already transitioning to and that I had some familiarity with.

Now the only thing left to buy by the end of the year is Word '13 for the new computer, which will make my year complete. Total dollars spent on this new computer thus far:

1} Newly refurbished computer: $300
2} Service warranty: $90
3} Mouse: $12
4} USB extension port: $14
5} Flash drive (8GB): $8
6} Surge protector: $14
7} Word '13: will cost anywhere from $75 (Amazon) to $140 (Staples)

Yay me.


  1. I had a similar experience when I got my latest Dell desktop computer. They fixed everything, but it took a while. Makes me wonder what's going on in those factories?

  2. I'm amazed that you can write about this without tearing the keys off of the keyboard...

  3. Lynn: This is a completely refurbished computer. I seriously detest Windows 8, so I did a search and destroy for a computer with Windows 7, and found a slew of them online at Staples.

    M: This was one of my better (and cheaper) outcomes with my computer, so I'm not completely ready to destroy it just yet.

  4. This stuff just drives me insane. The run around.

  5. Now I know to call you when my computer crashes

  6. Charles: For runarounds, this wasn't too bad, as it wound up being one very long phone call that was punctuated by a few transfers. What would've been bad is if I was transferred to an unrelated departments/businesses and made to feel like it was my fault for my computer crashing in the first place. I was actually very impressed with the professionalism of everyone involved.

    Bearman: Yup, you can call me and I can guarentee that I will make your computer problem even worse.

  7. Sarah: Thanks. Wish I could remember where I originally got it from. I think someone sent to me in an e-mail quite a few years ago.

  8. I dread it when something goes wrong with my computer. I usually managed to fix it myself but not without hours of trouble. It's just started freezing on chrome at the moment. I am pretty sure this is because I replaced Google Reader (sad loss -mine just disappeared way before the official deadline) and replacing it with Feedly. It worked fine for a while and then mysteriously Feedly became my "Home page" and since then Chrome keeps freezing. Pah.

  9. Jane: I have IE8 (on my old computer) and IE9 on my new computer as my default browser. I only use Chrome for Facebook (apparently my computer doesn't freeze up if I use Chrome for FB) and a few other websites that use a higher grade of Adobe flash player than what IE8 can handle.

  10. I think I'm less patient than you! I'm having an on going issue with my internet connection and I have lost my temper at least once on the phone to the help line in India.

  11. It's things like this that make me appreciate my geeky, techie husband even more -- I've never had to deal with tech support. :)

    Sorry I haven't been around to your blog lately, G -- it's been a crazy couple of months. Hopefully I can get back to my routine now! :)

  12. Joe: I normally have a very short fuse when it comes to customer service over the phone, but with a slightly brand new computer, I was willing to put up with whatever nonsense they were throwing at me.

    I actually had a really good tech guy help me out, which helped restore a little of my faith with large corporations.

    Lisa: Hey, when real life calls, you must answer. :D

    I've been lucky in that I've only had a few computer mishaps, and it was more hardware (broken plug, etc.) than software. We do have a couple of resident techies that we turn to from time to time, which helps alot.


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